Manchester United beat Omonia Nicosia 1-0 in the fourth group stage match of the UEFA Europa League at Old Trafford. United had 34 chances on goal throughout the match but could not get it into the back of the net. At least until Scott McTominay winner in added time.
United started in fine fettle in this match with Fred lining ups a shot on goal from 25 metres, striking the ball well but Moreto Cassamã directed it behind for a corner. United took the corner through Bruno Fernandes with Marcus Rashford forcing a save from Francis Uzoho.
Lisandro Martinez started a few attacks for United in the early stages of the match, seemingly looking like a great signing for the club during the summer. In the ninth minute, Rashford slid the ball through for Cristiano Ronaldo but he rifled the ball into the side netting.
Rashford then had a shot blocked a minute later as United were pressing for that opening goal of the match. Omonia seemed to have at least six or seven men across the defensive area, not able to carve much from this game. This is terrible football from Neil Lennon.
Rashford forced another save by Uzoho in the 22nd minute as he and Fernandes combined well on the attack. The England forward saw another shot blocked two minutes later with Ronaldo also having a shot blocked in the same minute. Fernandes then missed the target in the 25th minute.
United were all over the Cypriot team with Rashford lively on the attack for United. Uzoho seemed to be well-matched for his efforts with the number of saves he has made. Casemiro hot the woodwork in the 32nd minute of the match with United well in the driving seat on the attack.
United had many chances in the have with Fernandes, Ronaldo and Fred all missing the target in the six minutes heading to the 39th minute. Bruno missed the target for Omonia on their rare attack, making himself like like a semi-pro footballer.
United then has another attack from the Cypriot club to deal with but David De Gea and a slight nudge from Martinez cleared the danger. United ended on the attack, still unable to get a goal from this match. Lennon thinks he is doing well though, bless him.
There were no substitutions for either side at the start of the second half but United seemed to continue where they left off. Antony had an effort on goal immediately but Uzoho made the save. Rashford then had another chance with the Nigerian saving it again.
Fred and Ronaldo then had chances on goal, Uzoho again making the saves to derby United from scoring. What a decent goalkeeper he is at just 23 years old. Andronikos Kakoulli was the first player to be booked in the match, being shown a yellow card in the 49th minute.
Two minutes later De Gea had to make a save to deny Omonia. Fernandes then struck on goal, it being saved again. That is the story of this match so far. United continued to be on top with the chances before Jadon Sancho and Luke Shaw replaced Antony and Tyrell Malacia on the hour.
In the 64th minute, Karim Ansarifard replaced Kakoulli with Omonia making their first substitution of the match. United will need to keep their heads with the scorer of the first goal last week not being introduced into the match. United need an elusive goal and soon.
A minute later, Paris Psaltis replaced Adam Matthews, the second substation of the match for the Cypriot side. After a VAR check for handball, which was not given, Casemiro was fouled which warranted a red card with a yellow given for Moreto Cassama.
Christian Eriksen was introduced into the match, replacing Fred in the 70th minute of the match with United having a lot to do in order to win the match. United had 26 attempts on goal until and including the 70th minute, so they just needed to be more clinical in front of goal.
United won a corner in the 73rd minute with Fernandes taking the corner. Rashford then had another chance on goal, missing the target this time. Omonia made a double substitution in the 74th minute with Loizos Loizou and Fotis Papoulis replacing Bruno and Charalampos Charalampous.
Fernandes had a good chance to break the deadlock in the run up to the 80th minute but he lofted his effort into the stands rather than pressuring the defence or the goalkeeper. In the 81st minute, Scott McTominay replaced Casemiro, United’s fourth substitution of the match.
Into the last ten minutes of the match, United still needed that elusive goal which they needed in order to aim to win the group with two more matches left in the Europa League group stages this season. The Omonia goalkeeper was definitely the Man of the Match for this game.
Omonia made another substitution in the 86th minute of the match with Mikkel Diskerud replacing Cassama in a bid to grind out a result which at this moment in time would see the Cypriot team earn their first point in the group stages of the Europa League this season.
McTominay could have had a shot on goal, launching it into the stands embarrassingly. Five minutes were added at the end of the second half with the match still goalless. United were still working hard, dominating on the attack, amassing 718 passes before the time was added on.
Nikolaos Panagiotou was booked for pulling Rashford’s shirt and United then capitalised through McTominay with the goal coming after three minutes of added time. Jadon Sancho helped to create that goal but Uzoho was the player that could hold his head high from that match, a brilliant player.
David De Gea: The Spanish goalkeeper did not exactly have a lot to do against Omonia. Bruno’s chance on goal, instead of squaring the ball to a teammate made it easier. There were few chances from the Cypriot side. A clean sheet will boost morale. ★★★★★★
Diogo Dalot: Made the overlap on the attack more than a few times but did not make the most of it. He even played United into trouble just before the break. In the final third, he should have been more attacking as United sought to push though and find that goal. ★★★★★
Victor Lindelof: Bruno got the better of him for his chance on goal. He also needed to add more physicality to his game. That said, he’s not played a lot of football this season and will grow into the game as the season grows older. ★★★★★
Lisandro Martinez: Barges Kakoulli out of the way in the first half, which could have resulted in a yellow card of worse for him has the referee not been as lenient. I don’t think he was as probing as he was a week ago but he still made an impact in the match. ★★★★★
Tyrell Malacia: I don’t think he improved United on the left channel with Luke Shaw being the more attack-minded fullback on the left in the last few matches. He still made an impact by Shaw did better, which is why he replaced him on the hour. ★★★★★
Casemiro: He was the best United played in the first half. Carried his performance from the Everton match where he was named the Man of the Match. He hit the woodwork as United explored their opportunities to find that elusive goal. Received a nasty tackle too. ★★★★★★★
Fred: The Brazilian played well and had a few chances on goal, including the first of the match. However, he showed that Christian Eriksen is so important for United having been the best partner for Casemiro so far this season. He needs to have more impact. ★★★★★
Antony: During the first half I found him to be very erratic, only managing a cross into Fred on the attack. He lost his place on the hour with Jadon Sancho replacing him. He was one of the best substitutes in the match, creating the goal for Scott McTominay. ★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Had so much impatience in this match. Played his socks off at times and was so eager to get a goal. His finishing needs some improvement. During 2020 when he was at his best for United, he would have bagged a few goals. ★★★★★
Marcus Rashford: He was United best attacking player in this match. So sharp in front of goal. Francis Uzoho made the saves most of the time though. Could have easily got a goal against any other goalkeeper. Squandered a few one-on-ones though. ★★★★★★
Cristiano Ronaldo: Fresh from scoring his 700th club career goal, the Portuguese forward could not get United ahead in this match because of the Nigerian goalkeeper. Ronaldo persevered and dug deep to help guide United to the goal. It took McTominay to score the winner. ★★★★★★
Luke Shaw: Replaced Malacia 60′. The England left-back was an upgrade on Malacia. The Dutch left-back is a good player to have but recently he has not been as good as he could have been. Shaw is raising his game to win back his place this season. ★★★★★★
Jadon Sancho: Replaced Antony 60′. The England winger was direct and showed a lot of energy on the attack as he sought to get United into the box, either scoring or assisting. The only goal of the game came because of him. Hopefully he recovered his early form. ★★★★★★
Christian Eriksen: Replaced Fred 70′. United needed him late in this match. He needed a rest too. Gave a lot of creative output during his 20 minute cameo. He should be fresh enough to start against Newcastle at the weekend. ★★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Replaced Casemiro 81′. Seemed full of energy when he came on. Squandered a chance, sending it into the crowd. Had another effort on goal saved before that winning goal came in the third minute of added time. What a goal it was for him. ★★★★★★★
Goals: Scott McTominay 90+3′
Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Malacia (Shaw 60′); Casemiro (McTominay 81′), Fred (Eriksen 70′); Antony (Sancho 60′), Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton, Dubravka; Varane; Iqbal; Pellistri, Elanga, Garnacho
Bookings: Andronikos Kakoulli 49′, Moreto Cassama 68′, Nikolaos Panagiotou 90+2′
Written by John Walker